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Not home yet from abroad; ‘Diabetic’ Mabilog goes on sick leave

ILOILO CITY, Philippines  — Citing health reasons, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog filed for leave of absence.

Mabilog's spokesman, lawyer Mark Piad, said the mayor is on sick leave from September 11 to 30, reportedly to seek treatment abroad.

Piad divulged that Mabilog is suffering from diabetes mellitus type 2. "As of today, he already filed a sick leave up until the end of the month," he said, but clarified that the mayor's health concerns are nothing serious though.

"As a human being, it's but natural that he undergoes stress. Most probably, one of the factors that triggered was so much stress. He needed time off to seek treatment," Piad said, although he was silent on where Mabilog is specifically.

Piad claimed that Mabilog just made a quick call to him and did not elaborate on the latter's whereabouts. But he said that the mayor has joined his family—his wife and two children—abroad.

In his years in public service, Piad said that Mabilog had not gone on long vacation leave. "I guess this is a good opportunity for him to spend time with his family. He just finished his commitments before going on leave and have his own personal space," he added.

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Mabilog last reported at the Iloilo City Hall on August 29 when he addressed City Hall employees during their flag raising ceremony.

The event was a day after President Rodrigo Duterte again accused him of being a drug protector and announced the assignment of Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido to the city police.

A day after that, on August 30, Espenido was designated officer-in-charge of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO). But two days later, his appointment was cancelled and retained as chief of the Ozamiz City Police.

After that, Mabilog flew to Japan, reportedly on an official trip for a disaster management conference, from August 31 to September 4. While in Japan, several sectors however advised him to go on leave.

On September 11, Piad said that Mabilog was entertaining the idea of filing a leave of absence from work. It was when Piad admitted that Mabilog is affected by the constant allusions made by Duterte on his alleged illegal drug trade involvement.

After his Japan trip, his return home was expected, but the mayor instead flew to Malaysian reportedly to attend another conference, from September 7 to 9, a two-day Urban Environment Accords Summit, where he presented Iloilo City government’s best practices on river protection.

“Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog did not ‘flee.̓ He’s on official travel in the performance of his functions," Piad insisted. (FREEMAN)

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